Our French friends seem to love visiting doctors and picking up pills from the pharmacy, even when there’s little need to do so. Result: that massive la Sécu deficit. The Dutch government has – to a lesser extent – the same problem and reader Wim van der Sprenkel tells us they’ve come up within an effective solution.
A Dutch person who doesn’t go into hospital or get a doctor’s prescription in a given year gets a payment of €255 for this restraint. This sum is reduced by the cost of any medicines received. Last year some 4 million people qualified for a payment. The system doesn’t apply to routine visits to a GP or to maternity care.
According to a health ministry spokesman, “The result has been very positive, lots of people just aren’t getting sick.” As the Dutch say in their direct way, “Geld stinkt niet.”